Writing and Rhetoric Devices Used by 18th and 19th Scientists – Page 2

blackpadpenOne of the most effective writing and rhetoric techniques employed by the scientists is the appeal to authority. The appeal to authority is frequently used to strengthen and validate the scientists’ arguments because the readers are made to believe that the results are universally accepted authoritative figures. Some scientists referred to other well known scientists in their publications, which added credibility to their results. For example, Priestly referred to Mr. Waltaire and Mr. Cadet to explain the source of his ingredients, which made his experiments seem more valuable, because the ingredients were obtained from a credible source . Furthermore, to solidify his own findings, Priestly emphasized that Mr. Cadet’s reputation is unquestionable. Moreover, he mentioned Lavoisier’s and Mr. le Roy’s enthusiasm about his results in a manner which implied that they approved his results as being genuine .

Likewise, Darwin referred to Mr. Wallace and Sir Lyell in a fashion that implied that they approved and validated his results . The readers’ churchinterpretation of Priestly’s and Darwin’s references to other well known scientists is that the results are endorsed by respectable scientists, hence the results must be credible. Similarly, other scientists referred to religious figures and religious authority to validate their claims. For example, Cuvier referenced the biblical tales of catastrophes and biblical figures, such as Moses , to imply that his point of view and observations are endorsed by divine authorities, hence they must be acceptable. Likewise, Newton referred to God often in his publications to convince his readers that he agreed with the common beliefs of the time, hence his results must also concur with the common beliefs of the time .

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